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Listener Letter: Obi-Wan is the Bruce Lee of the Jedi

Posted by Eric on October 2, 2012 at 10:00 AM CST

We get all kinds of email here at The ForceCast, but sometimes an email is too big to fit into the mailbag (there are postage weight limits, you know!). Here is one of those emails, from listener Din Yalonen.


Hey guys, thanks so much for all your coverage of CVI - it really brought a lot of joy to me, the red carpet video was awesome as was your new doc footage and the 'Revival' roundtable. So good to be back in the seasonal swing!!

Ok, I really have a great short essay that will show just how great the duels in 'Revenge' and 'Revival' are. This Revival duel is my favorite after Jedi, Meance and Sith. It is amazing and I want to break down why. As someone who has trained for years in Jeet Kun Do (Bruce Lee's school) I have to point out, how great this lightsaber battle was, and why the last season's finale 'Revenge' was a perfect (and much needed) set up. Love and Force blessings, - Din


Obi-Wan is the Bruce Lee of the Jedi
1. The Emotional Content of the Duel: Bruce Lee said we "need Emotional Content." Meaning, you use your emotional energy to fuel your will and intent (not destroy it). He also meant that emotional outbursts, not channeled into your actually fighting, before or during a fight, wastes the energy you actually need for the fight. So in 'Revenge' Obi-Wan gave into his emotion, and poured his rage into a childish emotional outburst, instead of really channeling that energy into a mature and focused positive emotional state . In this premiere 'Revival', when Maul say's "You are no match, we are two", Obi-Wan remembers the last fight, and instead of failing emotionally like last time (and especially as he is vulnerable because Adi Gallia was just killed) he internalizes his emotion and turns it into Emotional Content. You can actually see that intentionally animated on his face when he replies. He is determined to act on what he learned from his last encounter with these Sith.


2. The Enemy's Illusion: In Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee's instructor Shaolin Abbott, says "Now, you must remember: the enemy has only images and illusions behind which he hides his true motives. Destroy the image and you will break the enemy." We need to analyze the the difference between the emotional waste of cockiness and true confident intention of Obi-Wan to break The Sith's Illusion. He is no longer intimidated by the powerful Illusion of the Sith Brothers as he was in 'Revenge'. The time he simply says, "Throwing in with Pirates now, oh how the mighty Sith have fallen." Obi -Wan is winning an internal battle, overcoming their illusion, and breaking their egotistic and pathetic image with wit. He is winning the battle before it begins. Then when Adi Gallia dies, Obi-Wan internalizes his compassion and love for her, into powerfully internal and focused coals of Emotional Content; instead of the wild quick burning fire of The Sith. Emotionally, he continues to have them beat. A second victory in the story arc of this fight.


3. The Choreography and Story Arch of the Duel: This fight is a true example of how a Master would would fight two foes. He does his best to back away from his two opponents so that he keeps outside of them; meaning he does not let himself get trapped inside and between them (as much as he can). Also, Bruce Lee said "When the opponent expands, I contract. When he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, I do not hit. It hits all by itself." He contracts as they press on him and he uses their force against them, instead of blindly expanding in rage as he did in 'Revenge.' Finally, he relies on his training, which is so fine tuned in any Master - that 'It' just happens. His emotions as are focused, so when Savage's leg becomes vulnerable, he kicks it it each opportunity while fending Maul off with his Saber. In this way Obi-Wan became two people himself, and they were caught off guard, because Obi-Wan was not that focused in 'Revenge.' They are confused, Obi-Wan has changed, evolved. Finally, the last opportunity presents itself and Obi-Wan crushes Opress' worn out leg. Obi-Wan concludes his 3 part victory of Emotional Content, Illusions and Physical Mastery with a final amputation of Opress' arm. This is when Maul loses his emotions in concern for his brother; the Sith now loses his only power rage to compassion. The Sith's Illusion of cold-hearted indifference is completely destroyed. It is over for Maul. Time for him to learn from these mistakes, and to fight another day as he grows in his own arch.


The masterful way that these story arcs progress from 'Revenge' to 'Revival' promise that the next meeting between these rivals will be another exceptional progression in the tale.

I hope this helped people to understand Obi-Wan's arc and why his mistake in the much criticized 'Revenge' episode were actually needed for his this story. He has to rid himself of the last bit of destructive cockiness he suffered from that reached all the way back to Phantom Menace, when he defeated Maul and took on Anakin in his emotional arrogance. Obi-Wan is now ready.

This season, my responses are going to be of this nature, I'll try to positively provide views that maybe have been overlooked. It's so much fun!


Thanks to Din for sharing his thoughts. If you have something to say about our show or Star Wars in general, email us.


Into Bruce Lee or you want to know more about the man and his philosophies? ForceCast friend John J. Marcoux has written an amazing book called Poised to Pummel: An Unauthorized Biography of Bruce Lee. Featuring great artwork and a fun format, Poised to Pummell is for old and new fans of Bruce Lee. For more information about this Bite Sided Bio, click HERE.
- JMac


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